Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Next Issue Miles Champion on Steve Malmude, and a selection of his poems Isabel Galleymore 'Baby Earth Environmentalism' James Womack 'The City, an Argument' Marilyn Hacker 'A New Sequence' Ian Thomson 'Before Darkness Fell' Horatio Morpurgo on Semyon Lipkin
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 274
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 243, Volume 45 Number 1, September - October 2018.

Five Poems Clare Jones
Living fossil

There were days I doubted I’d ever spoken words.
             I saw clawed toads all without tongues.
There was only smoke where the fire was,
             so I sat in whale light. I slept alone.
I found each morning rocks that rose
             like shoulderblades out of the sea:
             a life was a long time
    to be no one’s father, being
                 a shovel in the ground.

When stardust flecked the river stones,
             and leaves like greaseprints smudged the paths,
I looked for signs left behind by birds:
             seeds eaten, broken grass, a line across the lily.
I looked for feathers rubbed off like scales.
             My inner ear staggered at the climb.
             I knew no wind
             would make it through so much:

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image